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Posts from — January 2012

Old Husher’s Urban Farm Manifesto


Husher’s T-shirts.

Help publish the Urban Farm Manifesto

By Justin Husher
On Rockethub

The Urban Farm Manifesto is a 20-page comic-zine with essay elements that chronicles some of my surreal experiences during the last three years of growing in the wilds of western Cleveland; and then combines it with socio-cultural commentary on food sovereignty versus the corporate food system, the politics of local food, and other seemingly disparate topics like “the Small-Mart Revolution” and permits. It’s about the modern aesthetics of urban farming. I liken it to the Four Elements of Hip Hop.

[Read more →]

January 31, 2012   Comments Off

Urban Patches

“The goal is for the resource to be continually growing with high quality advice on how to earn a living farming in the city”

By Gavin Walsh

“Urbanpatches will be a place where successful urban farmers can post what they’ve learned and their ‘best practices’ for running their farms. It’s designed so farmers can easily login (via Facebook) and add a post with their tips and strategies for running their farm successfully. It’s designed to be a resource and a way for urban farmers to share their knowledge with each other in one location.

[Read more →]

January 31, 2012   Comments Off

New York City 100 years ago: “Where City Lots Raise Richer Crops Than Taxes”


See full page image here. (2.2MB)

“When a farmer within the city limits is making $30,000 yearly out of potatoes alone, it is time to think of vacant lots in connection with the cost of living”

The New York Tribune Magazine
Jan. 14, 1917

Excerpt:

In the three metropolitan boroughs of New York – Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn – Brooklyn alone has vacant land suitable for farming and gardening purposes. The Brooklyn land has been used for hundreds of years or more by farmers, beginning with the old Dutch landsmen, and the soil has been made productive by constant fertilization. In Manhattan there are practically no vacant lots. The vacant lots in the Bronx are fast disappearing and what remain are rocky and unproductive. In Queens there are acres and acres of vacant land, but Queens to all intents and purposes is still a rural district. Brooklyn, therefore, is the only part of the metropolitan section of New York City that contains farmlands and truck gardens.

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January 30, 2012   Comments Off

USDA blog: Gooding Community Garden Produces Food, Knowledge, Service and Fun

“The community was ready for a garden like this. It was just the right idea at the right time.”

By Michelle Pak,
NRCS Idaho
January 23, 2012

Excerpt:

Eric Moore had a vision to grow a garden outside his office window. Moore, an employee of USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Idaho, works at the USDA Service Center in Gooding.

For years, the back part of the Service Center property was vacant and covered in weeds. Looking at that weed patch always bothered Moore. So he was excited when he got permission from the landlord to start a garden there last year.

[Read more →]

January 30, 2012   Comments Off

Something’s fishy in urban backyards


Meir Lazar is reflected in a tank he uses to raise tilapia at his home in the Baltimore suburb of Pikesville. Photo by Lloyd Fox.

Baltimore-area aquaponic farmers raise seafood and vegetables in a quest for self-sustainability and better health.

By Timothy B. Wheeler
The Baltimore Sun via LA Times
January 28, 2012

Excerpt:

The aquarium in the living room of Meir and Leah Lazar’s home isn’t just for decoration. The tilapia and bluegills packed into the 50-gallon glass tank are waiting their turn to wind up on dinner plates.

Out back, Meir Lazar is putting the finishing touches on a bigger new home for the fish inside a plastic-covered greenhouse. There, he hopes, the waste from the fish he’s tending will help him raise enough lettuce, tomatoes and other produce to feed his family of five year-round.

[Read more →]

January 29, 2012   Comments Off

Balcony urban farmer “gone wild”


Photo by Shottty.

Seen on a London balcony next to Regent’s Canal.

January 29, 2012   1 Comment

Urban Roots – When Everything Collapses Plant Your Field of Dreams

Wherever there is grass, there is a chance to put food on the table.

Urban Roots – Film
Directed by Mark MacInnis
Produced by Leila Conners
Film 2011

URBAN ROOTS is a documentary that tells the story of the spontaneous emergence of urban farming in the city of Detroit. Detroit, once an industrial powerhouse of a lost American era, is a city devastated by the loss of half its population due to the collapse of manufacturing. By the looks of it, the city has died. But now, against all odds, in the empty lots, in the old factory yards, and in-between the sad, sagging blocks of company housing, seeds of change are taking root. With the most vacant lots in the country, citizens are reclaiming their spirits by growing food. A small group of dedicated citizens have started an urban environmental movement with the potential to transform not just a city after its collapse, but also a country after the end of its industrial age.

[Read more →]

January 29, 2012   Comments Off

Ohio man’s comic books focus on urban farming


Richmond Heights, Ohio, resident Martinez Garcias has completed four comic books in his “Brink City: Green in the Ghetto” series and will soon begin work on the fifth instalment in the series. Photo by Andy Attina.

Brink City will be a 12-part comic book series when it’s completed.

By Andy Attina
Cleveland.com
January 27, 2012,

Excerpt:

He wrote the first of four comic books, titled “Brink City: Green in the Ghetto.” Brink is used as a generic name for similar cities all around the country.

The comics have dealt mostly with urban farming, as Rid-All runs greenhouses in Cleveland. They were geared toward inner-city youths, but Garcias wanted them to be more versatile and appeal to kids in the suburbs, as well.

[Read more →]

January 28, 2012   1 Comment

A Kitchen Garden Crowns the Hotel Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal

In planting the garden, the hotel also wishes to sow seeds of change, creating Montréal’s first downtown hotel rooftop garden.

By Quebecgetaways,
September 9, 2011

Excerpt:

It isn’t possible to visit this secret garden. But guests at the hotel can already taste the difference in their plates. Since the month of May, the garden has already provided different kinds of eggplant, plum tomatoes, beets, peppers, Swiss chard, endive, radishes, zucchini, Montréal melons and several kinds of mint and basil for amazing results!

This urban garden gets perfect sun for growing food. The hotel has opted for a container culture technique developed by experts from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

[Read more →]

January 28, 2012   Comments Off

San Francisco Legitimizes Urban Farming

“SFUAA get emails from folks all over the bay area and the entire country – Oakland, Burlington, [Washington] D.C., Chicago – all actively seeking information. That’s perhaps biggest change since ordinance passed – visibility,”

By Catherine Adams
Fog City Journal
January 27, 2012

Excerpt:

San Francisco took a bold step in 2011 further legitimizing urban agriculture in the city. With the passage of the Planning Code Amendment on Urban Agriculture (ordinance 66-11), commercial garden and small farm sites are now legal city-wide. The ordinance received unanimous support from the Board of Supervisors in April before it was approved by Mayor Ed Lee.

[Read more →]

January 28, 2012   Comments Off

Youngstown, Ohio land reuse setting national example for community revitalization


“Lots of Green” Youngstown, Ohio.

“People are starting to see land reuse as a new approach to neighborhood revitalization in post-industrial cities,”

By Lee Chilcote
Hive City Media
January 15, 2012

Excerpt:

Since Lots of Green launched in the summer of 2010, the program has reclaimed more than 150 urban lots (about 17 acres of city land). Some completed projects include community gardens, side yard expansions, pocket parks, a storm water mitigation demonstration site, a block-long soil research site and a 2.5 acre urban farm.

“We now have five community gardens with over 100 registered gardeners,” Presley says. “We’re igniting innovative projects and empowering residents to get involved.”

[Read more →]

January 28, 2012   Comments Off

‘Farmtina’ on her balcony in Brooklyn, New York – WholeFood video series

“Grow – Episode 6” – Excellent series!

‘Farmtina’ – When Martina put a few cucumbers in pots on her balcony in Brooklyn, New York, she had no idea where it would grow from there. A creative spirit helps her face the challenges of city gardening, such as space…and soil.

More Grow episodes can be found here.

January 27, 2012   2 Comments

YWCA to Expand Urban Farming Initiative in Evanston, Illinois


YWCA Evanston/North Shore.

The YWCA said the program will help empower local women.

By Jessica Rudis
Evanston Patch
Jan 27, 2012

Excerpt:

Colorado based CoBank recently announced that it will contribute $34,000 over the next three years to help the YWCA Evanston/North Shore to support an expansion of their urban farming initiative.

The urban farm started in the spring of 2009, when the YWCA built a small raised bed vegetable and herb garden to grow fresh produce for Mary Lou’s Place, their domestic violence shelter for women and children.

[Read more →]

January 27, 2012   Comments Off

A CSA in the City of Burnaby, BC


Sustainable ideas: Above, Dave Carlson in the garden of his home. Carlson runs Common Ground Community Farm in Burnaby, a community supported agriculture project. Photograph by Jason Lang.

Sustainable model of farming brings together growers and consumers

By Christina Myers
Burnaby Now
January 25, 2012

Excerpt:

Last season, he grew dozens of different crops, from herbs to squash and everything in between, and had 17 members. He also sold produce at a number of local farm markets.

This year, he’s hoping to expand his membership to 60, particularly with residents in neighbouring communities like New Westminster, for the 20-week season.

And he may bring in some new “friends” as well.

[Read more →]

January 26, 2012   1 Comment

Ho‘opili- Does Urban Agriculture have a Future in Hawaii?


Will garden plots adjacent to homes make up for the loss of Oahu’s prime agricultural lands?

It’s a worldwide phenomenon, and one that doesn’t bode well for Mother Earth. Has the “Market” become our lord and master?

By Jack Kelly
The Kona Story
Jan 25, 2012

Excerpt:

The Ho‘opili project on Oahu has come back before the Land Use Commission again. Developer D.H. Horton is seeking rezoning of 1,500 acres of prime agricultural land from Ag to Urban, to allow construction of an 11,750-home subdivision. D.R. Horton first brought the project to the LUC in 2009, but the request was denied because it lacked an adequate timeline for the development.

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January 26, 2012   Comments Off